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Two teenagers from Lowell, Arkansas were killed Friday morning and an 18 month old child had to be airlifted to the Arkanas Children’s Hospital after a car accident that involved six vehicles in Rogers, Arkansas. Timothy Aaron Smith, 21, of Lowell, Arkansas veered into oncoming traffic, side swiping three vehicles, including a tractor-trailor, and forcing one vehicle off the road and into a utility pole before he struck eighteen year old Jerrod Dubose head-on. Dubose and his passenger, Melinda Yates, 18, were pronounced dead at the scene. Yates’ 18 month old son, Bryson, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital and later airlifted to Arkansas Children’s hospital. Smith was also taken to St. Mary’s and underwent surgery Friday. Authorties are still investigating the cause of the crash.

Last year in Arkansas 665 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that is an increase from 654 fatalities in 2005 (NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 2006 Annual Report File). Also according to the NHTSA, on average, 70% of traffic related fatalities occur when one or more vehicles leave the roadway. As more Arkansans use the roadways the number of traffic fatalites continues to increase each year. In the year 2000, 652 people were killed in car accidents, costing the state of Arkansas $1.97 billion.

The NHTSA continues to push for tougher seatbelt laws and greater traffic safety awareness in order to combat the rising number of traffic deaths. For more information about crash statistics and traffic safety visit http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/CMSWeb/index.aspx.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.

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